Wednesday, October 31, 2007

OpenSocial: Facebook Watch Your (Face)Back

October 31, 2007
Google and Friends to Gang Up on Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30 — Google and some of the Web’s leading social networks are teaming up to take on the new kid on the block — Facebook.

On Thursday, an alliance of companies led by Google plans to begin introducing a common set of standards to allow software developers to write programs for Google’s social network, Orkut, as well as others, including LinkedIn, hi5, Friendster, Plaxo and Ning.
The strategy is aimed at one-upping Facebook, which last spring opened its service to outside developers. Since then, more than 5,000 small programs have been built to run on the Facebook site, and some have been adopted by millions of the site’s users. [snip]

“It is going to forestall Facebook’s ability to get everyone writing just for Facebook,” said a person with knowledge of the plans who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the alliance. The group’s platform, which is called OpenSocial, is “compatible across all the companies,” that person said.

The alliance includes business software makers and Oracle, who are moving to let third-party programmers write applications that can be accessed by their customers. The start of OpenSocial comes just a week after Google lost to Microsoft in a bid to invest in Facebook and sell advertising on the social network’s pages outside the United States.

Facebook’s success with its platform has proved that the combination of social data and news feeds is a powerful mechanism to help developers distribute their software. They are now seen as must-have functions for many Internet companies. [snip]

For now, however, Facebook has become the preferred platform for software developers. By teaming with others, Google hopes to create a rival platform that could have broad appeal to developers. A person briefed on the plans said the sites in the alliance had a combined 100 million users, more than double the size of Facebook.


For Google, the effort could breathe new life into Orkut, which is popular in Brazil and other countries, but not in the United States[snip].


Google has not been able to establish itself as a force in social networking, and it clearly wants to. “One of the things to say, very clearly, is that social networks as a phenomenon are very real,” Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, said in a recent interview. “If you are of a certain age, you sort of dismiss this as college kids or teenagers. But it is very real.”


[snip] Mr. Kraus said that over time Google hoped to bring other social elements to Web applications, whether or not they run inside social networks. Analysts expect other Google services, including iGoogle, to be equipped with social features eventually.

Launch of _SciTechNet(sm): Science and Technology Social Neworking Services_


I am pleased to announce the launch of SciTechNet(sm): Science and Technology Social Networking Services. SciTechNet(sm) is devoted to "describing and documenting online social networking services in the Sciences and Technology and is available at


SciTechNet(sm) has been seeded with a full description of the Nature Network, an “… online meeting place for … [scientists] and fellow scientists to gather, talk and find out about the latest scientific news and events.”

Within the Nature Network registered members can

  • create their own personal profile in which they can describe themselves and their research interests

  • establish a group for one’s lab, department or institution, or create a topic-based group

  • join and have discussions with group members

  • build their own online network of like-minded people

  • offer your views on developments in your field or in the broader world of science

  • post comments on other individual’s blogs

  • search and browse a comprehensive listing of all forthcoming seminars and conferences

  • registered users can post their own events

  • read the latest news, views and historical insights in the news sections of the networks featured cities

  • discuss articles using the network’s commenting system

  • browse local job listings
For Full Details And Links for the Nature Network Visit SciTechNet(sm) [ ]

BTW: There is a Feedburner Webfeed for SciTechNet at []

I have identified Other SciTech SNS but would appreciate learning of Any and All Others.

There is a Companion SciTechNet(sm) Facebook group devoted to "describing, discussing, and documenting online social networking services in the Sciences and Technology" and is available at

[ ]



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

SeaChange: Sharing, Privacy, and Trust in Our Networked World

Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World

The practice of using a social network to establish and enhance relationships based on some common ground—shared interests, related skills, or a common geographic location—is as old as human societies, but social networking has flourished due to the ease of connecting on the Web. This OCLC membership report explores this web of social participation and cooperation on the Internet and how it may impact the library’s role, including:

  • The use of social networking, social media, commercial and library services on the Web
  • How and what users and librarians share on the Web and their attitudes toward related privacy issues
  • Opinions on privacy online
  • Libraries’ current and future roles in social networking
The report is based on a survey (by Harris Interactive on behalf of OCLC) of the general public from six countries—Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—and of library directors from the U.S. The research provides insights into the values and social-networking habits of library users.
Print copies of the report will be available for order on Monday, October 29.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Flog Me, Please


A MostExcellent Facebook App: Flog

"Flog allows you to quickly and easily integrate an existing blog into your Facebook profile! If you have a blog, Flog makes it simple to increase your visibilty and share your content with everyone on Facebook. A built-in full page "reader" that is linked from your profile allows your posts to be displayed without having to navigate away from Facebook, but also contains permalinks back to your original blog ... .


  • Automatic For Everyone: Your Flog can be synchronized to your blog automatically, regardless of your blogging platform.

  • Flogroll: Browse the Flogosphere. Read recent posts, or peruse at random! Enjoy great content from other Floggers.

  • News Feed Integration: Your friends are alerted whenever you post new content to your blog!

  • Customization: Choose how your posts are displayed, down to the number of characters

New Features & Upgrades

  • Friends' Flogs: The fastest and easiest way to stay up-to-date with your friends' latest posts

  • Dig Deeper: The Flogroll now lets you browse every post in the Flogosphere

  • Improved Formatting: Pictures and links, amongst other things, will be displayed on your full-page Flog

Flog Facebook App available at


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sharing, Privacy, Trust in Our Networked World: Forthcoming OCLC Membership Report

The practice of using a social network to establish and enhance relationships based on some common ground—shared interests, related skills, or a common geographic location—is as old as human societies, but social networking has flourished due to the ease of connecting on the Web. The next OCLC membership report will explore this web of social participation and cooperation on the Internet and how it may impact the library’s role in the public sphere, including:

  • An overview of social networking and social media Web sites
  • Evaluation of the behaviors, values and expectations of participants
  • Review of related privacy and trust issues
The report is based on a survey ... of the general public from six countries—Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—and of library directors from the U.S.
The purpose of the research is twofold: to assist librarians in understanding the values and social-networking habits of the people they serve; and to present the origins and history of “privacy” as a core professional value in librarianship.

The report’s release is expected in October 2007.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Wikis are Here! The Wikis Are Here!


Wiki Whiteboard

"Introducing Wiki Whiteboard: The Wetpaint Wiki Application for Facebook!

Wiki Whiteboard makes it possible for Facebook users to instantly collaborate, wiki-style, with their friends within Facebook on their most passionate interests

What you can do:

  • Work together to create a site about something you and your friends care about
  • Share class notes, to-do lists, or plan a trip or party
  • Compile photos, YouTube videos, playlists, polls, and more
  • Build a fan site about your favorite celebrity or band
  • Expand upon your Facebook groups with video uploads, polls, and more!

Wiki Whiteboard by Wetpaint makes it simple to work together with friends and groups inside Facebook. Adding content, images, videos, and dozens of other widgets is as easy as clicking and typing."

*Note: we are currently in beta mode and have identified some bugs that will be fixed shortly. Check back for updates frequently, and please share any feedback or suggestions about Wiki Whiteboard on the discussion board ... ."

Highlights Include
Auto-created wikis for every Facebook group to which you belong
Six site templates custom made for Facebook

Wiki Whiteboard has been developed by Wetpaint []

The Wiki Whiteboard App is available from the Wetpiant Facebook group at



"With Wikimono, you can create any type of wiki. You need no technical experience whatsoever, no HTML, no nothing. Just jump in and start!

What can I do with Wikimono?

Plan your next party or trip abroad with friends. Create your fan site. Store your course notes. Build a private website for your family. Organize your charity work with your friends. Announce your product. Write your resume. Create your own newspaper. Write a book.

It is all secure: for each wiki, you can decide to share it with some Facebook friends only, all your friends, some of your Facebook networks, or even all Facebook users. "

Wikimono has been developed by Wikimono [].

The Wikimono Facebook App is available at


Saturday, October 13, 2007

You're Never Too Old To Poke

October 14, 2007

73 and Loaded With Friends on Facebook


WHEN Amy Waldman first signed on to Facebook last year and started to send joking messages about good grammar back and forth with a new 18-year-old friend, Ms. Waldman’s 19-year-old daughter, Talia, upbraided her for not revealing that she was actually in her 40s.

“You have to tell her you’re old,” she explained, “because on Facebook, that’s creepy.”

Ms. Waldman created a Facebook group to commemorate the incident: “over 40 is ‘facebook creepy.’”

It’s no secret that Facebook, which started as a networking playground for college kids, is graying, and that the percentage of active members who are over 25 years old and out of school has risen to some 40 percent of the overall population of about 45 million.

The influx raises questions. Will the loss of the campus sensibility and the youthful gestalt dilute the Facebook experience? And will the newcomers use the site — and change it? Or is it just another example of the fact that Americans age, but never seem to mature?


FOR the most part, in fact, the entry of millions of people with, you know, jobs and stuff, has been greeted with an epic “whatever,” said Clay Shirky, an adjunct professor in New York University’s interactive telecommunications program. “The average Facebook user isn’t going to care that people utterly unlike them are doing things they utterly don’t care about on some other corner of the site,” he said.


But the grown-ups are everywhere.


Ms. Waldman — she of the creepy 40s — finds herself using Facebook in many of the ways that younger people do, except for the sexual cruising: she keeps up with old friends, makes new ones and uses the network to, well, network.


Ms. Waldman also used Facebook in her volunteer work. She leads 12-week family education programs through the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and last spring, she needed a speaker for one of the classes. She posted a request on a Facebook page about mental health, asking for “someone with a mental illness who has experienced breakdown and recovery to talk about their experience with the class.”

She soon heard from Megan Banner, a 20-year-old who had suffered a bout of mental illness in her high school years, recovered and now attends college in Milwaukee. Ms. Banner said she had been thinking about getting involved with advocacy for mental illness issues when she saw Ms. Waldman’s note, and “It was as if it was meant to be.”

They chatted over Facebook and met at a local Starbucks. Ms. Banner spoke to the class and, in a message via Facebook, recalled, “I had the crowd crying.” She said she believed that she “gave some people the hope to continue.”

Since then, Ms. Banner has engaged in more advocacy and speaking about mental health. The evening with Ms. Waldman’s class, she said, “just changed my whole life.”

Young and old will inevitably use the technology of Facebook differently, said Nicole Ellison, an assistant professor in the telecommunications, information studies and media department at Michigan State University.


Each new technology for communication, from the telephone to e-mail to Facebook “poking,” goes through a similar cycle, he said. “First we invent the technologies, then we figure out the social norms that tame the technology and allow it to occupy a nondistracting part of our life.” In other words, for Facebook to truly succeed, ... [Paul Saffo] , said, it will have to recede.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Facebook Google App


"Now you can Search the web from within your Facebook environment. Access all the Google search features from Facebook, simply and quickly.

With the FB Google app, start your Google search from your profile page. Simply put in your search query into the search bar. Hit Enter or click on the Google button. And your familiar Google search page appears in a new window.

Enjoy googling from within Facebook."


Developed by PK4 Software, "... a Bangalore-based software company that delivers software solutions in a revolutionary manner ... ."



The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Friend

Keeping Friends Close and Enemies Online

Day to Day, October 11, 2007 · If Facebook can help you manage friendships, why not connect online with the people you hate? Enemybook is one of several new online programs that spoof Facebook. Kevin Matulef, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate student who designed the program, talks ... .


Facebook App


Thursday, October 11, 2007

In Your Face(book): Social Networking Sites for Engaged Library Services


I am pleased to announce the availability of my PPT presentation delivered at the recently-concluded LITA National Forum 2007 in Denver, Colorado:


In Your Face(book): Social Networking Sites for Engaged Library Services


**Original Abstract**
We believe that social networking sites such as Facebook are excellent environments to foster and facilitate contact and communication among members of a local community. We also believe that as a structured, yet open, communication venue within an educational community, Facebook can also serve a place and space in which library and librarian services can be more actively and visibly promoted.

During the Fall 2007 semester, we will undertake a series of outreach initiatives using Facebook. We will contact select members of the university Facebook community to inform each of the availability of core services offered by the reference and instruction department (e.g., book and journal selection, library presentations, research assistance) as well as general library services (e.g., interlibrary loan, library collections, reserve and media services).

We believe that Facebook members who are contacted directly by a librarian will be more apt to use library services and to contact a Facebook librarian when an information need arises, then will Facebook members who are not contacted. We also believe that the presence of a Facebook librarian will also generate contact with non-targeted ISU Facebook members due to the networking dynamics of this social networking environment.